When you child is sick -Signs and symptoms of an unwell child
Signs of health.
The signs of health are to be found, first, within the healthy performance of the varied functions of the body; the regular demands made for its supply, neither in excess or deficiency; and an identical regularity in its excretions both in quantity and appearance.
If the figure of the healthy infant is observed, something could also be learnt from this. there’ll be perceived such a universal roundness altogether parts of the juvenile body , that there’s no such thing as an angle to be found within the whole figure; whether the limbs are bent or straight, every line forms some of a circle. The limbs will feel firm and solid, and unless they’re bent, the joints can’t be discovered.
The tongue, even in health, is usually white, but it’ll be free from sores, the skin cool, the eyebright, the complexion clear, the top cool, and therefore the abdomen not projecting too far, the breathing regular, and without effort.
When awake, the infant are going to be cheerful and sprightly, and, loving to be played with, will often escape into its merry, happy, laugh; whilst, on the opposite hand, when asleep, it’ll appear calm, every feature composed, its countenance displaying an expression of happiness, and regularly , perhaps, lit up with a smile.
Just in proportion because the above appearances are present and full , health could also be said to exist; and just in proportion to their partial or total absence disease will have usurped its place.
We will, however, for the sake of clearness examine the signs of disease as they’re manifested separately by the countenance, the gestures, in sleep, within the stools, and by the breathing and cough.
A sick child may:
- be agitated or indolent, or prickly when disturbed.
- cry eagerly and not be easily comforted.
- lose attentiveness in playing or is unusually quiet and inactive.
- be unusually quiet and inactive.
- not want to eat.
- feel hot to touch.
- look tired and flushed or pale.
- complain of feeling cold.
Of the countenance.
In health the countenance of a 3rd is expressive of serenity in mind and body; but if the kid be unwell, this expression are going to be changed, and during a manner which, to a particular extent, will indicate what a part of the system is guilty .
The brows are going to be contracted, if there’s pain, and its seat is within the head. this is often frequently the very first outward sign of anything being wrong, and can occur at the very onset of disease; if therefore remarked at an early period, and proper remedies used, its notice may prevent one among the foremost scared of infantile complaints “Water within the Head.”
If this sign is gone by unheeded, and therefore the above disease is threatened, soon the eyes will become fixed and staring, the top hot, and moved uneasily from side to side upon the pillow, or lie heavily upon the nurse’s arm, the kid will start in its sleep, grinding its teeth, and awake alarmed and screaming, its face are going to be flushed, particularly the cheeks (as if rouged), its hands hot, but feet cold, its bowels obstinately costive, or its motions scanty, dark-coloured, and foul.
If the lips are drawn apart, so on show the teeth or gums, the seat of the pain is within the belly. This sign, however, will only be present during the particular existence of suffering; if, therefore, there be any doubt whether it exist, press upon the stomach, and watch the effect on the expression of the countenance.
If the pain arises simply from irritation of the bowels excited from indigestion, it’ll be temporary, and therefore the sign will go and are available even as the spasm may occur, and slight remedial measures will give relief.
If, however, the disease be more serious, and inflammation ensues, this sign are going to be more constantly present, and shortly the countenance will become pale, or sallow and sunken, the kid will dread motion, and lie upon its back with the knees bent up to the belly, the tongue are going to be loaded, and in breathing, while the chest are going to be seen to heave with quite usual effort, the muscles of the belly will remain perfectly quiescent.
If the nostrils are drawn upwards and during a quick motion, pain exists within the chest. This sign, however, will generally be the accompaniment of inflammation of the chest, during which case the countenance are going to be discoloured, the eyes more or less staring, and therefore the breathing are going to be difficult and hurried; and if the child’s mode of respiring be watched, the chest are going to be observed to be unmoved, while the belly quickly heaves with every inspiration.
Convulsions are generally preceded by some changes within the countenance. The upper lip are going to be involved , and is occasionally bluish or livid. Then there could also be slight squinting, or a singular rotation of the attention upon its own axis; alternate flushing or paleness of the face; and sudden animation followed by languor.
These signs will sometimes manifest themselves many hours, nay days before the attack occurs; could also be looked upon as premonitory; and if timely noticed, and suitable medical care resorted to, the occurrence of a fit could also be altogether prevented.
The state of the eyes should be attended to. In health, they’re clear and bright, but in disease, they become dull and provides an important appearance to the countenance; though after long-continued irritation they’re going to assume a degree of quickness which is extremely remarkable, and a kind of pearly brightness which is best known from observation than it are often from the outline .
The direction of the eyes, too, should be regarded, for from this we may learn something. When the infant is first delivered to the sunshine , both eyes are scarcely ever directed to an equivalent object: this happens with none tendency to disease, and merely proves, that regarding one object with both eyes is merely an acquired habit. But when the kid has come thereto age when the eyes are by habit directed to an equivalent object, and afterwards it loses that power, this circumstance alone could also be looked upon as a frequent prelude to disease affecting the top .
when you child is sick – Of the gestures.
The gestures of a healthy child are all easy and natural; but in sickness those deviations occur, which alone will often denote the character of the disease.
Suppose an infant to possess acquired the facility to support itself, to carry its head erect; let sickness come, its head will droop immediately, and this power are going to be lost, only to be regained with the return of health; and through the interval every posture and movement are going to be that of languor.
The little one that has just taught itself to run alone from chair to chair, having two or three teeth pressing upon and aggravating the gums, will for a time be completely began its feet, and maybe lie languidly in its cot, or on its nurse’s arm.
The legs being involved to the belly, and amid crying, are proofs of disorder and pain within the bowels. Press upon this part, and your pressure will increase the pain. Look to the secretions from the bowels themselves, and by their unhealthy character your suspicions, in regard to the seat of the disorder, are directly confirmed.
The hands of a toddler in health are rarely carried above its mouth; but let there be any thing wrong about the top and pain present, and therefore the little one’s hands are going to be constantly raised to the top and face.
Sudden starting when awake, as also during sleep, though it occur from trifling causes, should never be disregarded. it’s frequently connected with approaching disorder of the brain. it’s going to forebode a convulsive fit, and such suspicion is confirmed, if you discover the thumb of the kid drawn in and firmly pressed upon the palm, with the fingers so compressed upon it, that the hand can’t be forced open easily . an equivalent condition will exist within the toes, but to not so great a degree; there can also be a puffy state of the rear of the hands and feet, and both foot and wrist bent downwards.
There are other and milder signs threatening convulsions and connected with gesture, which should be regarded: the top being drawn rigidly backwards, an arm fixed firmly to the side, or almost it, as also one among the legs drawn stifly upwards. These signs, as also those enumerated above, are confirmed beyond all doubt, if there be present certain alterations within the usual habits of the child: if the sleep is disturbed, if there be frequent fits of crying, great peevishness of temper, the countenance alternately flushed and pale, sudden animation followed by as sudden a fit of languor, catching of the breath followed by an extended and deep inspiration, all numerous premonitory symptoms of an approaching attack.
Of the sleep.
The sleep of the infant in health is quiet, composed, and refreshing. In very early infancy, when not at the breast, it’s for the foremost part asleep in its cot; and although because the months advance it sleeps less, yet when the hour for repose arrives, the kid is not any sooner laid right down to rest, than it drops off into a quiet, peaceful slumber.
Not so, if ill. Frequently it’ll be unwilling to be put into its cot in the least , and therefore the nurse are going to be obliged to require the infant in her arms; it’ll then sleep except for a brief time, and during a restless and disturbed manner.
If it suffer pain, however slight, the countenance will indicate it; and, as when awake, so now, if there’s any thing wrong about the top , the contraction of the eye-brow and grinding of the teeth will appear; if any thing wrong about the belly, the lips are going to be drawn apart, showing the teeth or gums, and in both instances there’ll be great restlessness and frequent startings.
Of the stools.
In the new-born infant the motions are dark coloured, considerably like pitch both in consistence and appearance. the primary milk, however, secreted within the mother’s breast, acts as an aperient upon the infant’s bowels, and thus in about four-and-twenty hours it’s cleansed away.
From this point , and thru the entire of infancy, the stools are going to be of a lightish yellow colour, the consistence of thin mustard, having little smell, smooth in appearance, and thus free from lumps or white curded matter, and passed without pain or any considerable quantity of wind. And as long because the child is in health, it’ll have daily two or three, or maybe four, of those evacuations. But because it grows older, they’re going to not be quite so frequent; they’re going to become darker in colour, and more solid, though not such a lot so as within the adult.
Any deviation, then, from the above characters, is in fact a symbol of something wrong; and as a deranged condition of the bowels is usually the primary indication we’ve of coming disease, the nurse should daily be directed to observe the evacuations. Their appearance, colour, and therefore the manner during which discharged, are the points principally to be looked to. If the stools have a really curdy appearance, or are too liquid, or green, or dark-coloured, or smell badly, they’re unnatural. And in regard to the way during which they’re discharged, it should be borne in mind, that, during a healthy child, the motion is passed with but little wind, and as if squeezed out, but in disease, it’ll be thrown out with considerable force, which may be a sign of great irritation. the amount , too, of stools passed within the four-and- twenty hours it’s important to notice , in order that if the kid doesn’t have its accustomed relief, (and it must not be forgotten that children, although in perfect health, differ on the precise number,)
when you child is sick-Other signs to observe out for if your child is unwell
- It is important, especially with babies and young children, to observe out for other important signs if they’re unwell.
Drowsiness and loss of interest in playing and interacting with you – the baby or young child could also be less alert than usual and not curious about what’s happening around them. the kid may like better to just be cuddled and should be ‘floppy’.
- Breathing difficulty – breathing could also be noisy, rapid and/or shallow, or the kid may take long pauses between breaths. The baby may make a grunting sound, or the ribs or breastbone could also be sucked in with each breath.
- Poor feeding or loss of appetite – the baby or child may suck less vigorously, for shorter periods or refuse feeds all at once . This must be taken seriously in an infant.
- Taking but half the traditional amount of feed a 24 hour period is of concern.
- Poor urine output – but four wet nappies during a 24-hour period may be a concern. this might be difficult to assess if the kid has diarrhoea. For an older child, their urine are going to be reduced in amount and it’s going to be concentrated (a brown to orange colour).
- Change in complexion – the baby or child could also be very pale, have mottled skin or cold hands and feet.
Change in poo – very loose poos, absent poos or change in colour of poos may occur.
Of the breathing and cough
The breathing of a toddler in health is made of equal inspirations and expirations, and it breathes quietly, regularly, inaudibly, and without effort. But let inflammation of the air-tubes or lungs happen , and therefore the inspiration will become during a few hours so quickened and hurried, and maybe audible, that the eye has only to be directed to the circumstance to be directly perceived.
Now all changes which occur within the breathing from its healthy standard, however slight the reminder difference could also be , it’s most vital should be noticed early. for several of the complaints within the chest, although very formidable in their character, if only seen early by the medical practitioner , could also be arrested in their progress; but otherwise, could also be beyond the control of art.
A parent, therefore, should make herself conversant in the breathing of her child in health, and she or he will readily mark any change which can arise.
Whenever a toddler has the symptoms of a standard cold, attended by hoarseness and a rough cough, always think of it with suspicion, and never neglect seeking a medical opinion. Hoarseness doesn’t usually attend a standard cold within the child, and these symptoms could also be premonitory of an attack of “croup;” a disease excessively rapid in its progress, and which, from the importance of the parts affected, carrying on, as they are doing , a function indispensably necessary to life, requires the foremost prompt and decided treatment.
The following observations of Dr. Cheyne are so strikingly illustrative, then pertinent to my present purpose, that I cannot refrain inserting them: “In the approach of an attack of croup, which just about always takes place within the evening, probably of each day during which the kid has been exposed to the weather, and sometimes after catarrhal symptoms have existed for several days, he could also be observed to be excited, in variable spirits, more ready than usual to laugh than to cry, a touch flushed, occasionally coughing, the sound of the cough being rough, like that which attends the catarrhal stage of the measles.
More generally, however, the patient has been for a few time in bed and asleep, before the character of the disease with which he’s threatened is apparent; then, perhaps, without waking, he gives a really unusual cough, documented to anybody who has witnessed an attack of the croup; it rings as if the kid had coughed through a brazen trumpet; it’s truly a tussis clangosa; it penetrates the walls and floor of the apartment, and startles the experienced mother, ‘Oh! i’m afraid our child is taking the croup!’
She runs to the nursery, finds her child sleeping softly, and hopes she could also be mistaken. But remaining to tend him, soon the ringing cough, one cough, is repeated again and again; the patient is roused, then a replacement symptom is remarked; the sound of his voice is changed; puling, and as if the throat were swelled, it corresponds with the cough,” etc.
How important that a mother should be familiar with the above signs of 1 of the foremost terrific complaints to which childhood is subject; for, if she only call medical assistance during its first stage, the treatment are going to be almost invariably successful; whereas, if this “golden opportunity” is lost, this disease will seldom yield to the influence of measures, however wisely chosen or perseveringly employed.